I am like a prisoner in bonds, I have ten thousand anxieties but no one to confide them to. They can make me work, or they can cut my hair; They can eat
I am like a prisoner in bonds, I have ten thousand anxieties but no one to confide them to. They can make me work, or they can cut my hair; They can eat my flesh, and they can drink my blood. Knowing this is death, I would suffer anything willingly, To make me his wife is worse than killing me. Alas, how a pretty face has made me suffer, How I resent it that I am weak and soft like water.
Han poet and composer Wen-chi (Wenji) was captured by nomads and taken beyond the Great Wall and into the frontier. During her captivity, she became the wife of the Zuoxianwang (Leftside Virtuous King), producing two sons. After twelve years of captivity, she was rescued by the heroic Cao Cao, Chancellor of Han and hero of Three Kingdoms, who ransomed her in the name of her father, who had already died before her capture. When she returned to her homeland, she left her children behind in the frontier and wrote of her captivity. This Beauty and the Barbarian genre--pitting wilting feminine delicacy and culture against beyond-the-Wall barbarity, her natural maternal attachments against her yearning to return to her refined and artistic roots--inspired other poets as well as painters to embellish her story in their own accounts.
It is not every day that 395 rupees will buy you a miracle--a miracle in the form of an invitation, an invitation to value the earth, women, children, and other marginalized "outcastes" not as its, as objects put there for your convenience and consumption, but as precious beings having their own natures and needs, and wills.
Allow me, first, to tell you of a similar invitation.
One evening many years ago I knocked on a door and waited. I had come to pick up my date, on a first date -- a young woman I had met at the beach.
The door handle turned, the door opened, and there stood five kids, aged five to ten. Appraising me with wonder-filled eyes, they invited me in and asked me to have a seat while Claudia, their nanny, prepared herself.
Meanwhile, the kids began preparing me: the girls curling my hair and painting my nails, the boys handing me and inviting me to inspect various seashells, bits of driftwood, and gull feathers from their afternoon at the beach. They asked me to play piano. They showed off their Irish dance moves, and by the time my date had finished preening, I had fallen in love with the kids.
Devoid of a viable mother and father, these children were, I realized, inviting me to somehow fill that vacuum, to be for them both papa and mama -- a summons to which I soon surrendered.
This relationship demanded that I submit to initiation into layers of secret languages, to the superfluid, poetic rhythms of childhood speech, wonder-filled tongues that cause you to perceive everything, especially the Small Things, as nearer and dearer, that transform women, children, nature, and the earth into beings conversant with the most tender impulses of the heart.
It involved learning, in addition, a code language made by inserting the sound "ibe," rhymes with "vibe," after the first letter of every word.
Child to Me: Dibo wibe ribeally wibant tibo ibeat iben tibhis ribestaurant? Do we really want to eat in this restaurant?
Hostess to Me: Is that Arabic?
Child to Hostess: Nibo. No
And as if this were not enough, the English-speaking world, from Los Angeles to Bombay, was being drowned in the sociolect of Moon Unit Zappa's English-warping hit, "Valley Girls."
These became the languages of Small Things. Of cut fingers and flea bites, of sunburnt noses, of first loves and first-loves lost, of cold hands or cold feet, of all manner of childhood confusions, complaints, and confessions -- of guilt or love or sadness or wonder. Of anger, mirth, compassion, and of care.
This was the secret world we breathed and lived in. This was not the world we hid from. The world we sought to avoid at all costs. The world we undermined. The world of the woman-, child-, and nature-brutalizing Big Kahunas who drew up the Big Laws and Built the Big Categories, who Bulldozed the Sacred Chumash Indian village to erect million-dollar Condos at our Sacred Surfing Spot, who sent kids off to fight pointless wars.
As we grew into our heartfelt, secret world of communion with one another, far across the seas French feminists were fascinated with mother-child relationships, with the babbling stage and the infant's feeling of union with the maternal (Ammu's) form, with mother-child talk as a counter-language that challenged and transcended the Brutalizing Big Kahunas' Language of the Law of the Father and all the Grand and Cruel Narratives it spawns.
The world the brood and I and all their large tribe of friends inhabited was linguistically fashioned and shared , luminous, fun, friendly, and fart-filled -- a kissy cosmos none of us ever wanted to leave.
But alas, kids grow up.
By the time I arrived at the bottom of the second page of the 395-rupee miracle, I realized that I was being extended, and was submitting to, another invitation -- an invitation from not only the dear author, but from the dear friend who had lent me her own sacred, closely guarded, margin-annotated, holy, holy, holy but tattered copy -- an invitation into the hush-hush childhood tongue of Ammu, Rahel, and Estha -- a idiom that held Small Things holy and resisted the brutal laws and categories of institutions and Grand Narratives blind as bats -- laws that brutalize women, children, individuals, and the earth.
I have read that Arundhati Roy is often asked why she has not penned a second novel. And I feel that it is because this work is not just an aesthetic object. This novel is a moral force that has inspired millions. It is a call to action. A call to dismantle the unjust categories institutionalized by the Big Kahunas sucking on their cigars in the corporate board rooms and war rooms and temples and legislatures. A call to realize how cruelly the Grand Narratives of caste and Maoism dispense with mere individuals.
To heed that call means to really care and hold dear the marginalized: womanhood, childhood, and planet-hood.
Roy's invitation still stands.
Women, children, outcastes and the earth are still being brutalized. Pulverized.
There is no need for a second novel.
We need, as my dear friend who gifted me with her book has, only accept the invitation offered by the first. ...more
Alfonso is a story of a spiritual struggle within a Spanish immigrant’s soul. As an outsider, Alfonso labors to fit in and embrace his new life in a nAlfonso is a story of a spiritual struggle within a Spanish immigrant’s soul. As an outsider, Alfonso labors to fit in and embrace his new life in a new world – Australia – only to find himself succumbing to dark undertows of insult, isolation, and estrangement. Though he strives to cope with these dangerous forces, the only language he knows with which to confront them is a pictorial one, the duende-infused images of his boyhood Galician village: shadowy forests of dark pines, village girls with eyes the colour of chestnuts, mysterious croaking of black frogs, poison kisses of witches, crows whose mere presence means death. Though Alfonso’s newfound mastery of English lends him an instrument of accommodation and a facile veneer of acceptability, the deep grammar of his imaginal tongue threatens to undermine all the new values to which he aspires. ...more
The sacred mountain of the Kogi rises from sea level to almost 20,000 ft. Thus, it contains all ecological zones on earth, from rainforest to tundra.The sacred mountain of the Kogi rises from sea level to almost 20,000 ft. Thus, it contains all ecological zones on earth, from rainforest to tundra. Acutely sensitive to their environment, the Kogi use this mountain as an instrument/organism to monitor the health of the world. The mountain, and thus the world are sick: overheating and drying up.
Traditional Kogi religion is closely related to Kogi ideas about the structure and functioning of the Universe, and Kogi cosmology is ... a model forTraditional Kogi religion is closely related to Kogi ideas about the structure and functioning of the Universe, and Kogi cosmology is ... a model for survival in that it moulds individual behaviour into a plan of actions or avoidances that are oriented toward the maintenance of a viable equilibrium between Man’s demands and Nature’s resources. In this manner the individual and society at large must both carry the burden of great responsibilities which, in the Kogi view, extend not only to their society but to the whole of mankind.
The message and moral authority of the Kogi deserve 5 stars, whatever the book's literary merits....more
I give you Lovelock's unflinching and horrifying assessment of the climate crisis, and his closing image in his final chapter of his last book--his fiI give you Lovelock's unflinching and horrifying assessment of the climate crisis, and his closing image in his final chapter of his last book--his final warning that the planet we dwell upon will heat up far faster than most have imagined--with only a few inhabitable oases left to offer any form of refuge to what few survivors will remain:
"Sometime later in this century the survivors may reach a small harbor and dismount from their camels. Moored there they may see a small wooden ship scratching its side as it moves with the ocean's gentle swell against the rough harbor wall. A steady, cooler breeze promises a fair start for the next hazardous part of the journey northwards. The captain says nothing as the survivors board the vessel, but he knows that the near-unbearable rigor of the desert has selected them, the strong in mind and body, whose fitness pays the price of the voyage."
One of the more memorable fashion shoots in recent years was a spread that juxtaposed haute couture models with their Eastern intentionally skinny cou
One of the more memorable fashion shoots in recent years was a spread that juxtaposed haute couture models with their Eastern intentionally skinny counterparts: Indian sadhus. That was back when sadhus appeared in Vogue. These days, with the Western craze for hatha yoga, sadhus appear to be merely in vogue.
MOMA's stunning collection of yogis lacks the tantra-yantra-mantra mystical-technique allure of Ajit Mukerjee's publications of yoga and tantra art, while offing a history of yoga portraiture that lends an aura of unintentional meaning to the term yoga "pose."
Indeed, the most fascinating subjects are those of sadhus captured in photographic poses, who appear every bit to be true poseurs, as attached to their ash-covered bodies, myriad piercings, and matted dreadlocks as any dedicated trustafarian applying her pre-concert makeup.
Nevertheless, the images carry one away to worlds one never could have imagined. This fact makes them well worth the price of admission. ...more
This is a book about two machines: (a) the mind and (b) the image industry, which advertisers pay to supply our minds with images.
The theme of this bThis is a book about two machines: (a) the mind and (b) the image industry, which advertisers pay to supply our minds with images.
The theme of this book is the caliber of mental resolve needed to see beyond the seductions of those two machines.
There are many other books on this subject, written mostly by bovinely placid but sagacious looking fellows with beards and strange names who live in caves or other odd places and who, dressed in silken robes, give discourses on flowers. Usually their prose is pallid.
Depending on your mind, this could be the one book in that genre that is a page turner.
Another way of putting that is this: one who reads this book and does not think it is a page turner is either very stupid or very wise.
One thousand and one nights--and years--ago in Kashmir, the Sanskrit poet Kshemendra was a student of Tantric über guru Abhinavagupta. The following eOne thousand and one nights--and years--ago in Kashmir, the Sanskrit poet Kshemendra was a student of Tantric über guru Abhinavagupta. The following excerpt demonstrates that some things, in addition to eternity, never change.
The Guru's Retinue
All the officer's kinsmen and all their bedecked womenfolk came to his house for the sacrificial ceremony. His assistants and boon companions had meanwhile organized the materials of the guru's list. This included chalk and quicksilver, a golden measuring scale and a box for jewels. There were also red lead and other powders; yarn of a five colors and rice; a white parasol and white garments; an awning with strings, a knife and arrows, a mirror and a pair of shears. Then a banner and a fan; flowers and peacock feathers; parched grain, white mustard and ghee; wood apples and areca nuts, nutmet and walnuts, and barley and rice; two copper jars for water and a deer skin; sesame seeds and oil; firewood and sacred grass; incense saffron and camphor; holy herbs and sandalwood; wooden sandals, a stool and a bed; a bell a pot and a pitcher; liquor and meat; cakes and wine; onions, fish, and cooked rice; tasty edible sweetmeats, crushed and roasted, juicy and fresh; bowls of piquant sauces, rice pudding, khichri, and yoghurt. Finally, ten black goats and ten white, fourteen sheep and bellows for the fire.
A disciple then prepared carefully on the ground, with powdered red lead, a mandala circle decorated with images of male and female genitalia. The guru himself came there slowly. An acolyte held his left arm, and another, the right. He did not look around; his eyes closed as if with some inner bliss. And, like some fierce chief set on plunder, he was followed by more than a hundred disciples. Among them were a tanner and a butcher; a potter and a fisherman; a marketplace hermit and an aged courtesan; a distiller, a liquor vendor and an aged gallant; five ailing libertines, three salesmen and a cook; a beef-eating Bhairava master, a Kaula preceptor and a weaver; a water carrier with a mutilated nose, wearing rudrakshabeads as a crest and ringing three bells; a Shaiva teacher greatly given to9 religious vows and also the use of his mouth as a vagina.
There was also a naked maker of occasional vows, one of which is silence; a composer of hymns, with bells at his knees; two or three mad women surrounded by dogs; a crazy exorcist smeared with ordure; an alchemist, a magician dressed in vines, and an adept in the sciences of pleasure. And there were others, cunning servants of the guru, who attended to his food and drink. They all came in, maddened by the fragrance of the feast. Omnivorous devourers of food both cooked and raw, they made a clean sweep of the sesame, the ghee and the incense. One or two, and later many of them, also took away the rice flour, barley, wood apples, walnuts, ghee and the sandalwood paste, in bags and other containers.
Any young Indian poet of this era would have had, first of all, to undergo a thorough study of Sanskrit grammar, beginning at the age of six. By the aAny young Indian poet of this era would have had, first of all, to undergo a thorough study of Sanskrit grammar, beginning at the age of six. By the age of eight, he or she would have memorized the first 1,000 sutras of Panini's grammar, and not long after that, the full 4,000 sutras. Having accomplished that, he would then learn to apply the rules of grammatical analysis to domains such as logic, philosophy, poetics, mathematics, and numerous other disciplines.
It is for this reason that so often philosophical, mathematical, and logical themes appear in these poems.
Poetry, of course, is untranslatable, but often Brough's renderings, like flashes of monsoon lightning, reveal blinding visions of court life that would otherwise remain eternally obscured.
Being the account of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, treasurer of a Spanish expedition to the New World who, shipwrecked in Florida, made his way west, foBeing the account of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, treasurer of a Spanish expedition to the New World who, shipwrecked in Florida, made his way west, following the setting sun, went native, became a healer, and finally reunited with (and the irony is is the last word) Christians.
A Thousand Plateaus is required reading for Assange fans and enemies, as well as those who don't give a fig but carry a Master or Visa card or just A Thousand Plateaus is required reading for Assange fans and enemies, as well as those who don't give a fig but carry a Master or Visa card or just have a particular bent for Continental theory.
According to Deleuze and Guattari Western thought is dominated by a structure of knowledge they call aboresence. This way of knowing is tree-like, vertical, and centralized. For instance, in biology, we have Linnean taxonomies. In chemistry, we have Porphyrian trees. In linguistics we have Chomskyan sentence trees.
Did they say Western? In China we have centralized, hierarchical government and Internet censorship.
Such trees show up worldwide, not only in the fields of biology, botany, linguistics, and anatomy, but also in philosophy, where we find metaphysical trees, theological treess, gnostic trees, The World Tree . . .
Such trees are hierarchical, imposing limited and regulated connections between their components. All such trees spread out like many branches, stemming from a single trunk--each radiating out from an original oneness or unity.
And don't forget Plato, who stands as the central trunk in Western thought--or his Ideal Forms: Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, collies, and poodles are all material manifestations of an immaterial Essence--an Ideal Form of what Plato might call Dogginess. Dogginess is the single Platonic Origin--the Trunk--of the tree of dogs.
Opposed to the vertical, tree-like structure of knowledge, Deleuze and Guattari proclaim a rhizomatic, radically horizontal, crabgrass-like way of knowing. Crabgrass, for instance, is a plant. But instead of having one central root, a rhizome (such as crabgrass or the Internet) has zillions of roots, none of which is central--and each offshoot interconnects in random, unregulated networks in which any node can interconnect with any other node. Whereas the tree seeks to establish itself and say "I am," the rhizome is always rearranging interconnections, providing lines of flight, ranging nomadically saying "and, and, and. . ."
Thus the tree is concerned with origins, foundations, ontologies, beginnings and endings--with roots. The rhizome is concerned with surface connections, lines of flight, with the "and."
For D & G, Kafka's work is rhizomatic. One might expect a novel named The Trial to have something to do with the law. But Deleuze and G. find that Justice in the novel is not legal but erotic, for the process of justice is really a process of desiring. Thus, Kafka's protagonist, K., encounters obscene drawings in the courthouse; an attorney equates being accused with being attractive; a series of suggestive encounters with sex, antifamilial women; and a painting of Justice as winged, and evasive. K., lost in the and, and, and, of the judicial process, ever desiring Justice, never reaches Justice. "She" is never psesent, but always one room away from him in the rhizomatic, rat tunnel of the courthouse with its crazy corridors and perversely connected passageways through which K. is led by eroticized women. Thus, Justice, like the courthouse and desire, is rhizomatic, never reaching conclusion. We will see how this plays out in the Assange case.
The Internet, like a rhizome, is non-hierarchical, horizontal. Its nodes intersect in random, unregulated networks in which any node can interconnect with any other node.
D & G's notions of rhizome and nomadics inform much of the thought of the loose confederation of info-activists of which Assange is but one nomadic node -- to mix metaphors.
Plateaus lays out the underlying grammar of our postmodern info-wars, which, as the example below shows, are all about power. If info-activists and info-topians have a Bible, Deleuzean theory may be it, which many of these activists have swallowed hook-line and sinker as prescriptive rather than as descriptive of postmodern realities.
Notice, in the example quoted below, the heterotopian vision coming from an avowed member of a loose confederation of thinkers who claim to have disavowed metanarratives.
One must not forget, however, that although rhizomes are a trend, trees are not obsolete. The human nervous system is one such tree. If it operated like a rhizome, it would be operating without a brain.
Deleuze committed suicide by jumping from atop a tall, vertical structure--a building. We will someday see if Assange has been flirting with a legal system that is rhizomatic or vertical. So far he is folling in K's footsteps--to a t.
A central theme of Deleuzean anti-centrists is the deconstruction of the Oedipal myth, which involves exploding the central image of the father into many, and thus distributing anti-authoritarian ire towards an array of other targets. For instance, in Kafka's "Letter to His Father," he inflates his father to laughably absurd, dreamlike dimensions, until his father's singular Fatherness ballons so huge that it pops--exploding into a vast rhizomatic network of father-like social connections represented by judges, commissioners, bureaucrats.
The following is an example of the info-topian mind-set, of strictly orthodox rhizomism, in which the author hearalds a major victory in the ifo-wars:
"Patrick Lichty on December 11, 2010 2:39 pm Digital Anarchy and Wikileaks. Or, Skynet doesn’t look anything like we thought it did.
"This is the first time I’ve posted in a while, but I think we’re in significant times. Assange and the whole Wikileaks phenomenon is so important that it needs a little theory.
"To recap for those who have been unaware of the news, Wikileaks is an online Wikipedia-like database that “whistle-blows” against governmental/corporate wrongdoing by releasing controlled/classified documents. As of December 2010 they have been releasing huge numbers of cables relating to US foreign policy, which has the First World, especially the US State Department in a panic. Why? Because the leaks show the US in any number of gaffes, like calling Russia a “mafia state”, disclosing precarious mentions of Middle Eastern leaders. In addition, other undisclosed information, such as revealing transfers of weapons technology from North Korea to Iran, US drug companies targeting African politicians, and so on. This disclosure has sent the First World into diplomatic chaos, with geopolitical politics reconfiguring itself like a planet-sized Rubik’s Cube.
"First World power has been bitten by its own child, or its own emergent system as typified in popular science fiction franchises, like the Matrix and Terminator. Infopower has begun to become autonomous of its material (atomic) roots. Instead of the robots, it is merely the infosphere that is asserting itself. In The Porcelain Workshop, Antonio Negri asserts that one of the three major shifts into the postmodern is the primacy of informatics/cognitive capital as central to the new order. As such, it is focusing of society on this flow of capital which has relocated the foundations of power in the new millennium.
"The Internet was conceived by the US military (DARPA) as a decentralized network for the sharing and redundant storage of information in multiple locations in case of nuclear attack. In such a case, one node can be destroyed, and the network can still function despite their loss. It is for this reason that I believe that material/conventional power should be termed as “atomic”, as nuclear weapons are the ultimate extension of the nation-state, and as metaphor for material society, we can also double that this power situates in the world of atoms. However, this extension of conventional/”atomic” power has grown into a concurrent, distributed, heterogenous field of power that I will call the Infostate, that includes the Web, E-mail, and all functions of networked communications. Although the functionaries of conventional power have restructured themselves in terms of the informational milieu, the latter is not necessarily congruent with the former. The Internet spans most physical states, yet resides in no single one.
"Despite this, there are zones which the nation state has tried to territorialize and limit the flow of cognitive capital, such as Turkey and China, but the firewalls remain porous and slippery. This deterritiorialization of the Infostate creates an asymmetrical power relation which, due to its amorphous nature, is problematic for the conventional nation-state to engage. Conventional power requires a face upon which to focus fear and hatred upon, such as Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. Infopower is mercuric and morphogenic, and when confronted by the centralized, hierarchical nature of conventional power, it merely splits, morphs or replicates, sidestepping the metaphorical “army & general”. This relationship signals the new balance of power between the nation-state and the Infostate as Krokerian Panic dialectic, in which the ability of the one to relate in terms of the other implodes.
"With the bleeding of information from the material to the infomatic rhizome through Wikileaks (i.e. the US diplomatic cable leaks), the Infostate has created an asymmetrical insurgency against conventional power. Negri’s conception of cognitive capital as locus of power asymmetrically challenges that of material capital. This is analogous to previous mention of events as told in the movie, The Matrix, and the artificial (informatic) being overriding/supercedes embodied conventional power. As Deleuze, then Agamben assert that power is the separation of the subject from potentiality, and as such mitigates dissent, the nation-state is trying to exert power by separating the means of support and the figurehead from Wikileaks, but distributed, asymmetrical cyberwarfare by the net.community has already disrupted banks, credit, and networked sites. It has even awakened the amorphous hacker subculture of “Anonymous” which was last known for its mass protests against the Church of Scientology to rise against the opponents of Wikileaks. The Net, as child of the military (conventional power) has begun to turn on its masters, with expected reflexive responses.
"This knee-jerk reaction of the nation-state to asymmetrical power versus conventional power became evident in the case of 2001, where decentralized “cellular” physical social networks circumvented centralized power. Although the previous statement says decentralized physical power, this is merely an intermediary step to the development of asymmetrical distributed infopower. The centralized, hierarchical nature of the material corporate nation-state has been unable to contain the decentralized flow of cellular power, which has become infopower, created by the emergency of distributed networks. This is seen as we look again at Matrix Reloaded, where in, as in The Matrix Trilogy, the informatic body/state (Agent Smith) reacts to the intervention of conventional human power (Neo, or “The One”) by asymmetry in massively replicating Wikileaks sites (“The Many”). Conventional power now has a cloud of moving, replicating targets rather than one to aim at.
"The First World then reacts to being challenged by expediting material/physical diplomacy that would take months, days, or weeks by arresting Assange and possibly for extraditing him to the United States, his locus of challenge. But although the “head”, (the object of leverage of conventional power) is in custody, the “body” of Wikileaks and the rest of its “computational cloud of dissent” stated on December 7th (incidentally, the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), that it will continue to release information through the WikiLeaks network. Like the anthropomorphization of centralizing identity/placing a single “face” on challenges to hegemony (as in the Queens of the movies Aliens and The Borg in Star Trek), the true face of asymmetry is that of facelessness and morphogenic dissent. It is like trying to hold mercury, because as the Critical Art Ensemble states, decentralized dissent can only be addressed through decentralized means, and this is not the structure of conventional power.
"In Electronic Civil Disobedience, The Critical Art Ensemble also states that in the age of informatic power, physical resistance is severely limited in its potential for effect, if not useless, as the physical protester is corralled or elided entirely by authority. The real interventionists, CAE states, are the 20-something year-old hackers who punch through the firewalls and reroute flows of information, creating irruptions of redirection, disruption, and detournement of infocapital at will. The case of Ricardo Dominguez and the Electronic Disturbance Theatre’s virtual sit-in against the University of California was a relatively benign case of the disruption of data as political act. But the intervention in infocapital is explicated on a larger scale by Chinese governbmental hackers’ compromise of Google (as revealed by Wikileaks), as well as the infiltration of an Iranian reactor by hakers. All of these illustrate Negri’s idea that postmodern power/capital has shifted to that of the informatics and cognitive fields, and signal a primary shift of the balance power in the First World, if not globally.
"In light of this redistribution of power, what would the solution for converntional/”atomic” power’s reassertion of hegemony? This would be to contain the rise of informatic power by containing its means of distribution. This would be by the means of national firewalling, and trunk-line disconnection or limited Internet disabling, disrupting infopower, but also crippling the flow of digitized material capital as well. This is problematic at best, as conventional power and informatic power are in symbiotic, the latter being more nimble and a step ahead of the former, and to attack a symbiote always means to cripple its partner as well. The logical result of such actions would be the elimination of net neutrality (the free and open flow of data across the Internet) or even the severance of typologies and flows of information across the networks. The symbiotic effect is that conventional power/capital is also hobbled, as the physical is dependent on the same flows of information across the distributed nets, disabling itself in the process. It is for this reason that it cannot engage in this means of retaliation, as it would be the digital suicide of the First World nation-state.
"This is the brilliance of Wikileaks – its use of infrastructure upon which conventional power relies as site of anarchic resistance proves the potentiality of infomatic power rendering conventional power impotent. In this case, bits trump atoms in the milieu of the Net. As nuclear detente created an “aesthetics of uselessness” in the ridiculously high numbers of times the world’s nuclear stockpiles could destroy the Earth, this potential reduction of the “atomic/atomic” to aesthetic nullity arises as the Infostate merely shuts down the control systems of the bunker. I nation of nuclear gophers, lifeless in their burrows.
"Power is reconfiguring in light of informational vs. conventional power, and this is why the rise of Wikileaks is significant, and why the geopolitical panic-site it creates is a singular event. It suggests that decentralized power renders hierarchical conventional power impotent, signaling the beginning of the 21st Century paradigm. In The Coming Insurrection, the French anarchist group, The Invisible Committee, posits a Communo-Anarchic insurgency to overthrow the conventional nation-state. What would replace it is the creation of a cybernetic proto-industrial model of networked communes with high tech microproduction that would be established during and after a mass armed insurrection. There is another view on this. The insurrection, as CAE states, will not be with guns, but with bytes. This is in line with Negri’s assertion that capital in the postmodern has shifted to information/cognitive capital, and that conventional power merely marginalizes material (atomic) dissent. The real theatre of engagement is the infosphere, and Wikileaks has realized info-insurgency as real power first world/digital society has become informatic. Anarchy in its most powerful form is now in the disruption and release of data withheld by the nation-state."
(end of long quote)
So, does the future go to the oaks or the crabgrass? You can find the answer just by gazing up at the clouds. The lizard part of your brain will instantly begin searching for--and finding--familiar forms within those billowing canvasses. It's the same centric anxiety reflex that causes humans to look for leaders: lizards do push ups for the same reason guys do, to show they are the alpha iguana. Iguana babes may rally around such ass-kicking males, who in turn may be no match for a virus. Centrism and rhizome-ism are both embedded in nature. It's their interplay that helps drive evolution--and thickens the plot.
On rhizomatic strategic culture, as opposed to our Indo-European model of strategic culture:
When I was incarcerated for nine months in the U.S. Navy brig, for refusing to obey orders, I became an admirer of religious scholar Professor Evans-WWhen I was incarcerated for nine months in the U.S. Navy brig, for refusing to obey orders, I became an admirer of religious scholar Professor Evans-Wentz. His translations of ancient Tibetan scriptures on meditation helped me transform my brig time into a fory into spirit. When I gained my freedom, I lived in a cabin in Big Sur, where with a copy of Fairy-Faith, I awakened to the reality of subtle beings indwelling the immense silence of the redwood forests.
Evans-Wenz, who was a friend of Yeats, takes a half-poetic, half-anthropological approach. The most exciting passages are interviews with country folk dwelling in Celtic lands. For some, the fairy-faith is just that, something of the mind, a belief system inherited from centuries or mellenia of folklore and immersion in Nature. I consider those passages the "smoke" of the narrative. But where there is smoke, there is fire, and the fire Evans-Wentz discovers consists of the seers' actual perceptions of subtle beings. Seers see. What they see are subtle impulses of Nature that are intimate with what one seer in the book speaks of as The Soul of the World. Thus, intimacy with spirit is the prequisite for perception of subtle beings. It is from this indwelling, infinite presence that these subtle beings, and seers, draw their energy and luminosity. Perception of such beings is a matter neither of the imagination nor of belief. Such perception consist of the ability to cognize WHAT IS, to look beyond the smoke, directly into the fire.
One of the things I did in grad school was to become a Proto-Indo-European otaku, a long, lonely voyage into the dark and uncharted seas of PIE myth aOne of the things I did in grad school was to become a Proto-Indo-European otaku, a long, lonely voyage into the dark and uncharted seas of PIE myth and mythology. I did this because I was amused by facts such as the following: (a) the English word "sweat" and its Sanskrit cognate, "svet" are practically homophonic; (b) Erin, the ancient name for Ireland, is a cognate of the Persian word Iran and of the Vedic Sanskrit word Aryan (the 'race' that inspired Hitler). Why should cultures at such distances speak languages in the same family? Why do blonde, blue-eyed Lithuanians speak a language that is closer to India's primordial tongue than is any other European language?
English: God gave us teeth God will give us bread.
Lithuanian: Dievas dave dantis,Dievas duos ir duonas. Sanskrit: Devas adat datas,Devas dasyati dhanas.
In fact, it was the contemplation of such puzzles that led humans to discover that there are language families, and thus cognates.
If you think understanding a cultural continuum spanning a swath of geography stretching from ancient India to ancient Ireland might have some bearing on your understanding of your own cultural roots, this volume, though not for sissies, might do. ...more
Any heart ardent with prayer will find an illumined and faithful companion in San Juan de La Cruz (Saint John of the Cross), justifiably honored withiAny heart ardent with prayer will find an illumined and faithful companion in San Juan de La Cruz (Saint John of the Cross), justifiably honored within his tradition with the appellation Spiritual Doctor.
Many poets who write in Spanish consider San Juan to be first among poets in that tongue.
In San Juan's verse, divinity is often known simply as el amado, the beloved, the only balm able to cure the soul's gaping wound of separation from divinity. In his writing, San Juan finds himself in the predicament of having to invoke sensual images to convey what is beyond the senses. And, like his friend Teresa of Avila, he is painfully aware of the inability of words and concepts to express the divinity. In one passage he writes that it is precisely our limited conceptions of the beloved that wound and kill us daily, and that to blossom spiritually we must constanty transcend such arrows.
After all, Juan found himself incarcerated by a powerful institution in the business of producing limited conceptions of the beloved: the Church. They shoved Juan into a dark, cramped dungeon, where he subsisted on mere crumbs -- and divine mana.
His crime: to call for deeper prayer so that the soul can embrace divinity nakedly, without eccesiastical middle men. But, San Juan's call came at a time when the Church favored rigid ritual and dogma over interior piety, which it disesteemed as an activity reeking of the practicies of their great new challange, Protestantism.
In the darkness of his dungeon cell, Juan became absorbed into the light of divinity. His verse is his testament to the fact that nothing in the world can bring peace to the soul except the embrace of the beloved, and that this is our true vocation.
In one verse he writes of the soul as white dove (blanca palomica):
En solidad vivia y en soledad ha puesto ya su nido, y en soledad la guia a solas su querido, tambien en soledad de amor herido.
A literal translation:
She lived in solitude, and in solitude she made her nest and all alone her lover led her in solitude, also wounded in solitude by love.
Hers were the lonely days; in loneliest of solitudes her nest. Her guide on lonesome ways her love -- ah, loneliest, that arrow from the desert in his breast.
Anyone with a little Spanish can see how severely Nims has departed from the meaning, for the sake of rhyme.
Verse, famously, is that which evades translation. The attempt, though, puts one in company with San Juan in his efforts to render the Word in mere words.
Effective translations re-imagine rather than merely attempt to recreate the original. What such a translator seeks, as does San Juan, is not memisis but a felt resonance between two souls, a spiritual harmony that transcends differences and details of embodiment.
Ezra Pound's translations of Chinese verse succeed in this, as do San Juan's "translations" of what lies beyond all knowledge.
Most translators -- of both verse and spirit -- lack Pound's and San Juan's gifts. Yet, we must laud them for bringing us into any degree of felt affinity with the forces that inspired their art.
If readers prefer a more literal translation, I suggest Willis Barstone's renderings, which have the same title as the one here under consideration.
Those who do not speak Spanish may wish to read both in order to have two lenses into San Juan's world.
Those who do speak Spanish will surely experience both spiritual and embodied bliss. ...more